InterCom presents BREAKING the NEWS, Part 1: Local story missing! Community seeks answers

As the media industry continues to transition through technology, is Michigan at risk of losing local news coverage? While publishers change their focus to survive financially, how can we best support efficient access to current, accurate community news in Michigan? Can a community thrive without a robust source of local news? What does the future hold as we “break” the historical news model in our state? And when local publications downsize, how are communities handling the effects, from the loss of good jobs to the absence of a local watchdog and decreased coverage of public affairs — especially in a state ranked last in government transparency?

InterCom is proud to present BREAKING the News, Part 1, a panel discussion and community conversation exploring these questions, on Thursday, May 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at WMU’s Fetzer Center. Register here.

BREAKING the NEWS, Part 1, offers a forum to talk about local journalism statewide in a swiftly changing industry. Our hope is not to focus on the past, but to identity opportunities and solutions as we move forward together. We’ll continue the discussion in Part 2, set for Aug. 25, when we’ll take a more focused look at the Kalamazoo area, and how new and old media outlets are working to keep our local story alive. (Stay tuned for more information on Part 2.)

Our moderator on May 19 is Anna Clark, Columbia Journalism Review correspondent for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania and a 2011 Fulbright fellow.

Panelists confirmed to date include:

  • Phil Power, Founder & Chairman, Center for Michigan/Bridge Magazine: The Center is a Ížthink-and-doÍŸ tank formed to encourage greater citizen understanding and involvement in Michigan policy issues.
  • Sarah Hulett, Assistant News Director, Michigan Radio: NPR news station serving 500,000 listeners across the Lower Peninsula.
  • Issue Media Group, Detroit: Publisher of online magazines in 21 regions across the U.S. and Canada, including Kalamazoo-based Second Wave Southwest Michigan.
  • Michael McCullough, General Manager & Executive Editor, Battle Creek Enquirer: A Gannett publication serving Calhoun County.

DETAILS: Free parking at Fetzer Center. Appetizers served; cash bar available. Admission: $20 InterCom members; $25 non-members; $15 students. Sponsorships are available for $100, which includes one free admission, your logo prominently displayed on all materials and the opportunity to showcase your signage and handouts at the event. For more information, contact Curtis Cunningham.

Register for BREAKING the News at

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?  Everyone who values an informed community; anyone with an interest in Michigan media; those with messages that need to be heard locally: educators, non-profits, artists, event managers, small businesses, associations, public service providers, local government, etc. “ as well as media and communications professionals exploring new models for getting local news out.